Gov. Markell, Department of Labor, honor businesses for hiring people with disabilities

Dover, DE — Gov. Jack Markell joined the Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) at Dover Downs to celebrate workplace inclusion by honoring the value and contribution of employees with disabilities and employers who hire them.

“Each year we are proud to honor businesses in our State that have created workplaces that are inclusive of employees from diverse backgrounds as well as those with disabilities,” said DVR Director Andrea Guest, referring to the Dec. 12 event. “We also recognize employees with disabilities who have persevered and overcome barriers to achieve success in the workplace.”

Workplace inclusion is about fostering a culture of diversity that includes hiring people with disabilities.  Employers who create a culture of inclusion gain value by increasing creativity and knowledge including building a united strength to solve today’s complicated business challenges to attain success.

The businesses honored in each county included U.S. Security Associates, Inc. in New Castle, the Delaware Technical Community College at Terry Campus’ Department of Administrative Services in Kent County, and the Pizza King Restaurants in Sussex County. Employers are honored for their achievements to match the right person for their company’s needs based on the person’s skills and abilities, experience, and the job requirements.

The employees honored from each county included an employee from Chesapeake Utilities who is also the President of the Self-Determination group at the ARC of Delaware.  DVR has helped each of these job seekers develop an individualized career pathway which may have included skills building, training, or education with the end goal being employment.

The State Rehabilitation Council is a consumer-driven organization of community, business, and industry members representing DVR Stakeholders.  Last year, DVR placed more than 1,204 people with disabilities into careers and jobs throughout Delaware and the country; more than 300 of those placed were students transitioning from school to employment.

The Delaware Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is committed to providing individualized services to employers and people with disabilities, developing career pathways that link qualified employees to jobs, resulting in greater independence and a more inclusive workplace.


Conference held to prepare hundreds of students with disabilities for future

Wilmington, DE — On December 7th from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., hundreds of local high school students with disabilities attended a transition conference at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, DE, focusing on their future career and employment goals as well as learning what’s current in transition services for youth with disabilities in Delaware.

Transition services help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary choices leading to employment which include education, skill development, and supported employment.

Now in its 15th year, the “Shared Work, Shared Vision, Delaware Community of Practice 2016 Transition and Self-Determination Conference” plays a key role in helping students make an informed choice after high school by providing current information through a variety of resources.  This one day – parents, teachers, and organizations – come together to provide resources to help students look to their future career choices and goals.

“All students, including those with disabilities need to develop a career pathway leading to successful employment,” said Delaware Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Director Andrea Guest. “The Transition Conference provides tools for self-advocacy and the opportunity for students to learn how to reach their career goals.”

The event’s 17 workshops were shaped around the supportive nature of the transition community: there were topics for students with disabilities, parents, teachers, and Vocational Rehabilitation staff.  Sessions included “Writing Realistic Post School Goals” and “Times, They Are A’ Changing…Assistive Technology for Professionals.”  A financial coach leads the Closing Session.

DVR is committed to providing individualized services to employers and people with disabilities, developing career pathways that link qualified employees to jobs, resulting in greater independence and a more inclusive workplace.  In 2016, DVR placed more than 1,204 people with disabilities into careers and jobs throughout Delaware and the country; more than 300 of those placed were students transitioning from school to employment.

“This type of conference is important now more than ever to prepare students for our global economy,” said DOL Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson. “Students with disabilities need to be prepared by thinking about career planning and employment at earlier ages for many reasons including that people with disabilities often experience barriers to employment.”

The conference is a collaborative effort between the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Department of Education (DOE), Division for Visually Impaired (DVI), and the Division of Development Disabilities Services (DDDS) along with a variety of other agencies and organizations.


Department of Labor Awarded $800,000 to Fund Apprenticeship Delaware

 

Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Department of Labor has been awarded an $800,000 federal grant to fund the Apprenticeship Delaware project.

The grant is part of a $50.5 million investment in State Expansion Grants to expand apprenticeships across the country in a diverse array of industry sectors. The initiative, called Apprenticeship USA, is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to grow and diversify apprenticeships. Over the next 18 months, this effort will result in thousands of new apprenticeships in diverse industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing, and information technology, that offer workers not just jobs, but careers.

Through the project, Delaware will develop and launch outreach and marketing strategies to target both employers and potential registered apprentices within the information technology, architecture & construction, health sciences, hospitality & tourism, and manufacturing industries.

“We’re extremely grateful to be awarded this grant as it will help further our efforts to create more career opportunities for Delaware residents,” said Delaware DOL Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson. “It’s these kind of investments in people we need to continue making to keep moving our economy and workforce moving in the right direction.”

The project will serve more than 1,500 Delaware apprentices over the next five years and will also focus on increasing opportunities for women, communities of color, minorities, youth, and people with disabilities.

Apprenticeship Delaware’s expansion efforts will support the goals of the Career Pathways Initiative which seeks to close the “skills gap” between workforce talent and employer demand by providing a path for all Delaware students to continue their education, and successfully maintain a livable wage.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy. The department is made up of four divisions:
Division of Unemployment Insurance
Division of Industrial Affairs
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information
The combined efforts of these divisions and offices support the employment-related needs of nearly 400,000 Delaware workers and more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state.


Delaware Department of Labor Georgetown Office is Moving

New location will serve as a one-stop facility to better serve the public

Georgetown, DE – Members of the public, be advised the Delaware Department of Labor’s Georgetown facility is relocating to the nearby Georgetown Shopping Plaza.

DOL’s new office is located at 8 Georgetown Plaza, Georgetown, DE 19947 and will open for business Tuesday, October 25.

The last day the current facility at 600 N. Dupont Hwy., Suite 207 in Georgetown will be open is Thursday, October 20.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy. The department is made up of five divisions:

Division of Employment & Training
Division of Unemployment Insurance
Division of Industrial Affairs
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information

The combined efforts of these divisions and offices support the employment-related needs of nearly 400,000 Delaware workers and more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state.


Delaware Wins Federal Funding to Assist Dislocated Workers

New online tool will support all Delawareans seeking new employment, fits into state effort to help ex-DuPont employees

Wilmington, DE – The United States Department of Labor has announced that it has awarded the Delaware Department of Labor a $693,357 grant to support dislocated workers through the development of a new web-based application that will be integrated into the state’s existing JobLink infrastructure.

The application is being developed as a way to help citizens respond to changes in their own employment and to apply to new opportunities. The impetus for the exploration of this new solution was the downsizing at DuPont earlier this year, though it is expected to be able to be applied for a wide range of uses once developed.

“This new system will be more user friendly and will help individuals think about new ways that they can apply skills they have developed in a previous job,” said Secretary of Labor Patrice Gilliam. “Our rapid response teams at the Department of Labor provide significant support and resources to impacted workers, but we can always do more. It’s particularly important that our online portals are as effective as possible in reaching these individuals and we are excited about taking this next step.”

The state began to explore new ways to enhance these efforts this spring, and the development of a new application that streamlined the process for identifying an employee’s skills and packaging them into a marketable profile that can be targeted towards specific firms quickly became a top priority, leading the state to seek additional funding.

The grant will be used to fund the initial development costs related to the building, testing, and maintenance of the application.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy. The department is made up of five divisions:

Division of Employment & Training

Division of Unemployment Insurance

Division of Industrial Affairs

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information

The combined efforts of these divisions and offices support the employment-related needs of nearly 400,000 Delaware workers and more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state.